Social news site Digg, founded by camera-friendly CEO Kevin Rose (pictured), is still going strong even if it has been edged out of the limelight by Facebook and Twitter. Digg is now developing a new application programming interface (API), however, that’ll make it much easier for developers of other websites, and those who make applications for either desktops or phones, to integrate Digg into their creations.
The API will allow other websites or applications to submit new entries for Digg and will undoubtedly encourage software developers to enable their sites and apps to publish links to interesting URLs on Digg automatically, rather than requiring a human user to click through the steps currently required to submit an item.
The enhancements are described, at a programmerly level that get a bit technical, on a Google Groups discussion forum for Digg’s API. The new programming hooks, wrote Digg software developer Jeff Hodsdon, will work much like those already developed by Flickr and Facebook, which now allows comments to be read and posted from outside Facebook. (In technical jargon, Digg’s API will be RESTful.)
Digg has been slow to add some of the hooks that Facebook and Twitter developers eagerly added to their social networks. But as soon as it’s possible to submit a story to Digg with one click, or to create a bot that looks for stories to submit to Digg automatically, the result will be a much larger trove of submitted material upon which Digg members can vote or “digg” which submissions they find the most worthy of recommending to others.
Depending on the API’s reach, it may also be possible to give users of other sites and apps a button they can click that will submit an item to Digg, or vote for an existing item’s popularity, without directing the user away from their current app or Web page.
The end result? More items submitted to Digg and more votes cast on those items. Digg, once the poster child for Web 2.0 user-generated content, has fallen behind Facebook and Twitter in pop-culture buzz. By making it easy for those of us who don’t want to spend all day hanging around digg.com to send items to Digg, and hopefully to vote on them, Digg could bring itself back to the foreground.
[Photo by ojbyrne]